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Memorial dedication to take place at Children's Museum

Date: 5/26/2009

By Rick Sobey

Staff Intern

WILBRAHAM The Wilbraham Children's Museum will be hosting a memorial dedication for Dennis LaMothe, who lost his battle with cancer in 2007, on June 1 at 6:30 p.m.

LaMothe resided in East Longmeadow, and was an active member of the Wilbraham Children's Museum. He was the long-time maintenance coordinator at the museum. According to Christa Robinson, LaMothe's greatest contribution to the museum was spearheading the playground's renovation.

"He was very instrumental in refurbishing the museum's playground," Robinson, a member of the museum's Board of Directors, said.

When LaMothe was diagnosed with cancer, he still came to monthly meetings, she added.

"He was a very dedicated person," Robinson said. "I wanted him to be acknowledged permanently at the museum."

She decided to start a museum committee composed of Marianne Kukulka, Debra Vartanian, Sheryl Moriarty, Julie Dunlop, Diane Peluso, Denise Pelletier and Meg Cyr to ensure the playground's dedication to LaMothe.

They believed that a boulder should be placed at the playground in his memory. "The boulder blends right into the natural structure of the playground," Robinson said. "We did not want a bench or plaque for the memorial. Those structures are not natural like a boulder."

A Wilbraham family donated a boulder, and brought it to Jeffrey Brown at Custom Monument Design. Brown sandblasted a memorial tribute onto the rock. Jeff O'Connor and Robinson Landscaping will be moving the one-ton boulder to the Wilbraham Children's Museum.

During the memorial dedication, the museum will be unveiling the memorial boulder to remember LaMothe and everything that he accomplished at the museum. The memorial engraving on the boulder states, "This playground is dedicated to the memory of Dennis LaMothe who selflessly devoted his time to the museum and our children."

Underneath this engraving will be the years 1996 - 2007, for the time he was at the museum. Custom Monument Design donated this extra engraving for the boulder.

Located at 678 Main St., the Wilbraham Children's Museum was established in 1982 to provide recreational and educational services for the children of Wilbraham and surrounding communities.

For more information about the museum or dedication, visit www.wilbraham